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Compare and contrast: Sa Rit Gol vs. Seoul Garden

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I'm trying to pick a good Korean spot and I've narrowed things down to these two. Can people help me out on which to choose? Here are some facts that might help.

1. price does not matter much, though I will admit I can be frugal at times.

2. One member of the party is very knowledgeable about Korean food, speaks Korean, and loves Korean food of any sort.

3. There are two children in the bunch, but they love Korean food with the exception of the really spicy dishes. A little spice gets smiles, a lot of spice gets tears.

4. We're going for lunch on a Saturday.

Anybody got any insights that might help me make a decision?

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  1. Are you talking about Seoul Garden in Tustin? If so, So Rit Gol is head and shoulders superior. The quality and selection of Seoul Garden optimizes everything that is bad about all you can eat type places.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MEalcentric

      No, I'm talking about the Seoul Garden on Olympic, just west of downtown (across the 110 freeway, basically).

    2. I've never been to Sa Rit Gol, but Seoul Garden is one of my favorite spots. Here's the deal though, if you go to SG, you are basically commiting your whole group to family style Korean shabu shabu. They also have grilled meat on the menu, but I have never ordered it.

      Korean style shabu shabu starts with a pot of hot broth on the burner in the table. you throw in thinly sliced raw beef and shredded greens (sesame leaf, green onion, nappa cabbage, chinese leeks, etc) which cook quickly and are eaten with a vinegar, sesame soy sauce. The taste is subtle and not hot at all. They serve around 6-8 plates of panchan (side dishes) with the meal and those will include different types of kim chee.

      After you are done with the shabu shabu part, the waitress will come by and cook udon noodles in the remaining broth and serve them (the broth is very rich by this point). Finally, the waitress will take the last bit of broth and add rice, an egg, seaweed and sesame oil to make a fantastic rice porridge.

      it is a feast, and especially good now that the weather is cooling. it ends up costing around 20 pp w/o booze. one rule of thumb i use is to order 1 fewer serving than the size of the group. so with 5 people, i'll order 4 servings, and that will be plenty.

      1. I haven't been to Seoul Garden but have been going to Sa Rit Gol for a few years now. I enjoy the entrees, and they serve good panchan. They also serve a very tasty homestyle soybean soup that is perfect on a cold night, spicy and delicious.

        1. Definitely Sa Rit Gol.

          One of my best friends, who is from Seoul, takes me there often. She often seems amused by the place, its dishes bringing back memories of things from long ago. The black cod casserole is unbelievably good. The only thing I haven't loved that I dared try at Sa Rit Gol, my friend and I (well, my friend, since this was in Korean) was told by the waitress: "We have a special tonight, but you won't like it." What is it? "Raw liver." We looked at each other, undecided. "I'll bring it to you," the waitress said. Out came a dish of thick slices of raw liver. Next to it, a dipping bowl of oil and salt. We did not like it!

          1. I know this is a horrible reply but both are great choices. Seoul Garden has a reputation of having great quality meat. I've had the ros gui before and it is yummy.

            I haven't been to Sa Rit Gol in a long time but its cha-dol was good.

            It bascially boils down to what type of korean food. Seoul Garden is known for its jin-gi-skan and ros gui. Sa Rit Gol has more of a variety.

            If it's bbq you're looking for, Park's BBQ on Vermont near Olympic has great quality meat but it is a bit more pricey (but well worth it.)

            1. I haven't been to Seoul Garden, but I can tell you that Sa Rit Gol is awesome. The food is delicious and I love their panchan which of all the various Korean BBQ restaurants I've checked out, is absolutely the best hands down. If you'd like to see pics, go to:

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addic...

              Thanks,
              Abby